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South Africa : Team Analysis : World Cup


    4 Days to World Cup 2015 

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South Africa : Team Analysis

World Cup 2015 CountdownWhen Jacques Kallis retired, the cricket loving people in Asia publicised it more than their counterpart in South Africa. South Africans do love their cricket but they don’t worship their heroes like the people in the subcontinent do. They reacted when their team failed in knock-out matches in previous World Cups but the response was measured and not anything too drastic. 

South Africa, as always, have once again got some very good players together for this World Cup. Once again they are one of the favourites but at the same time people do expect them to choke at the crunch moments and end their campaign. 

Three of their most experienced players retired in the last couple of years. It is next to impossible to replace the likes of Mark Boucher, Jacques Kallis and Graeme Smith but South Africa have ensured that their absence is not felt too much, and not too often.

The best all-rounder in the world retired but South Africa still has the two best batsmen in the world, to go with someone named Dale Steyn who is light-years ahead of all his contemporaries. Steyn has improved his skills immensely in the last one year or so and is now menacing even with the white ball in hand. He is a tough bowler to face in any condition but it will be even tougher to face him down under. Vernon Philander has been a revelation since he has made a comeback and can be a nasty customer to deal with if the ball does a bit off the pitch. Then there is the tall Morne Morkel. It will be a nightmare for the batsmen to face him on pitches at Brisbane and Perth. We are not done yet. There is still Wayne Parnell, the left armer. He can be a slippery customer and he often makes the batsmen hurry in their shot making. There is Kyle Abbott...

Imran Tahir is going to play an important role for South Africa in this year’s World Cup. A leggie is always an asset on Australian pitches. He has a good googly and that makes him less dependent on the pitch. He has such a great unit of fast bowlers in the team that, invariably, the batsmen from the opposition would target him for quick runs. This can well end up being a blessing in disguise for him and none should get surprised if we see Tahir picking up a lot of wickets. 

There is no point in writing much about South Africa’s fielding. It has always been world class and it still is the same.

The likes of David Miller and Rilee Rossouw have come through well in the last eighteen months. They have made sure that the void created by Smith and Kallis is not felt much. Quinton de Kock has a habit of making centuries in ODI cricket and don’t be surprised if he notches up a few more in the World Cup. 

JP Duminy is an underrated cricketer and, more often than not, has been able to hold the South African middle order together. 

Then there is Hashim Amla, on course to break most records in ODI cricket. The more one sees Amla bat, the more one believes in divine intervention. Someone can be so correct, so consistent and at the same time can toy with any bowling attack- flirts with the word impossible.

The captain of the team, AB DeVilliers has done well so far. It was not easy to take over from Smith, especially with the side going through an overhaul, but AB has made sure that the performances on the field doesn’t get affected. Words are inadequate to describe the brand of batting AB DeVillers does these days and hence we will rest our case in this regard.

South Africa should reach the knock out stages easily and from there on the battle will be a psychological one for them. They need to win a knock-out match to get their confidence back. If that happens, they have it in them to go all the way this time.

Experts and fans believe they can indeed travel the distance this time but that is exactly what they believed in last time around, and in 2003, and in 1999...

Squad : AB de Villiers (captain & wk), Hashim Amla (vice-captain), Kyle Abbott, Farhaan Behardien, Quinton de Kock (wk), JP Duminy, Faf du Plessis, Imran Tahir, David Miller, Morne Morkel, Wayne Parnell, Aaron Phangiso, Vernon Philander, Rilee Rossouw, Dale Steyn

Batting and bowling potential charts indicate the percentage contribution of each player in the team.

South Africa Batting and Bowling Contribution Potential World Cup 2015

Key Batsmen : AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, JP Duminy

Key Bowlers : Vernon Philander, Dale Steyn, Morne Morkel

Big Hitters : Quinton de Kock, AB de Villiers, David Miller

Most Experienced Player : AB de Villiers

Darkhorse : Rilee Rossouw

Last 10 Matches : Won 5, Lost 5

Team Average Age : 29 Years

Oldest Player : Imran Tahir (35 years)

Youngest Player : Quinton de Kock (22 years)

South Africa already played one warm-up game against Sri Lanka  on 9th Feb and won by 5 wickets. They will be playing their second warm-up game against New Zealand at Christchurch on 11th Feb.

Fixtures for South Africa in World Cup 2015 :

Date & Time Match Details Coverage
Sun Feb 15 (D/N)
01:00 GMT | 14:00 local
06:30 IST
3rd Match, Pool B - South Africa v Zimbabwe
Seddon Park, Hamilton
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Sun Feb 22 (D/N)
03:30 GMT | 14:30 local
09:00 IST
13th Match, Pool B - India v South Africa
Melbourne Cricket Ground
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Fri Feb 27 (D/N)
03:30 GMT | 14:30 local
09:00 IST
19th Match, Pool B - South Africa v West Indies
Sydney Cricket Ground
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Tue Mar 3 (D/N)
03:30 GMT | 14:30 local
09:00 IST
24th Match, Pool B - Ireland v South Africa
Manuka Oval, Canberra
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Sat Mar 7 (D/N)
01:00 GMT | 14:00 local
06:30 IST
29th Match, Pool B - Pakistan v South Africa
Eden Park, Auckland
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Thu Mar 12 (D/N)
01:00 GMT | 14:00 local
06:30 IST
36th Match, Pool B - South Africa v United Arab Emirates
Westpac Stadium, Wellington
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